Episode 38: Got Fibro? Listen here.


In this episode, you will learn:

  • Everything is connected. Symptoms you had as a baby and during your years growing up are correlated with Fibromyalgia or any autoimmune disease you may currently have.

  • The first symptom of chronic pain syndrome is Colic

  • 90% of babies who have Colic, one of the parents has restless leg syndrome or some kind of chronic pain issue such as IBS, constipation, etc.

  • Movement, eating to nourish, and doing things you love are what will help ease your pain but these things must be done in baby steps rather than going from 500 steps to 10,000 steps a day, etc

Episode 38: Got Fibro? Listen here. With Dr Michael Lenz

Katie Wrigley  0:05  

Welcome back to the Pain Changer Podcast. This is episode 38. Over the last several months, you’ve heard from a lot of different experts on how their areas of specialty can help you change your pain. The goal of having these guests on my show is to help you see just how many options there are out there when you are ready to change your pain. Today’s guest is no exception to this. And in fact, he mixes traditional medicine with lifestyle medicine to help those suffering with fibromyalgia and fiber leg pain as well as other types of pain. I cannot wait to dive into this one. So grab something warm, get comfortable and stick with me. That’s coming up next. Dr. Michael Lenz is a practicing physician in Delafield, Wisconsin. He is board certified in pediatrics and internal medicine which means he sees patients from newborns through adulthood. He is also a diplomat of the board of lifestyle medicine and a diplomat of the board of clinical lipidology. Dr. Lenz has also received a T Colin Campbell plant based nutrition certificate. Dr. Lenz graduated from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and completed his residency at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospitals in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Lenz has helped hundreds of patients suffering from Fibromyalgia-like pain. He is committed to educating, inspiring, and equipping patients to walk through this battle triumphantly. Oh man, Dr. Lenz, I cannot wait to dive into this. There’s so much goodness in your background. Welcome to the Pain Changer Podcast.

Dr. Michael Lenz  2:11  

Well, thanks for having me. It’s always a pleasure to get a chance to help people and share some wisdom and understanding and hope.

Katie Wrigley  2:20  

And even in the brief conversation we’re having before we hit record, I already am aware of how much information you have like to a point where I actually pause to start recording, because this man has all kinds of good stuff to share with you today. So tell me a little bit about the background that I just mentioned there, like what caught your interest to follow people from newborn to adulthood? You don’t hear about many doctors that do that anymore.

Dr. Michael Lenz  2:49  

Yeah, soshort for the training is med peds internal medicine and pediatrics in America. It’s been around for about 56 years, and I had thought about primary care. And then I heard about this combined program in residency where you get to do both pediatrics and internal medicine and you get to do a deep dive. I’ve always kind of wanted a deep dive, I wanted to learn things in depth. And when you become a pediatrician, you really know pediatrics in depth and when you know, internal medicine, you know, adults and in depth. And I, there was family practice as an option and nothing against family practice. But I knew I wasn’t going to really be doing obstetrics. So I got a chance to get this extra training. What’s nice is when you’re dealing with chronic pain syndromes, is that it affects kids and adults. And also, it affects families. And I get to have the experience of doing this for 26 plus years of seeing this continuum. So I was talking about before I came on the air, I had a patient of mine yesterday who I saw in the morning. And then I saw her 30 year old daughter who was unfortunately in a car accident where she’s safe, but had what we might call whiplash and neck and other pain. But knowing her mom’s history, knowing this patient who had some other issues, like restless leg and some other chronic migraines that we’re going to potentially be at the start, could be the start of fibromyalgia type pain, if we didn’t address things and trying to prevent the story that many people listening maybe, well, when I was 30, I was driving to school and I person ran a red light and I got hit and I had pain and I’ve never been the same since. And now I was able to talk to her and I said well, I know you know me and I know your mom and I know she has Fibro but she’s managing, she’s doing well. Her mom still has flare ups when life has things thrown to you that are not in your control. But trying to give her the information and education to help her get through that. She’s a teacher and she was in pain so she stopped walking. She was very sedentary which is protective. If you broke an ankle, you shouldn’t walk on your ankle. But if you are more prone to chronic pain and nothing was necessarily broken, you know, you had whiplash, and hopefully you’re getting better, but her pain was turned on. And with that predisposition harder to turn that into the off position, as we know, with many people who are genetically prone to that, but anyways, there is a chance to see both kids and adults, I love getting a chance to see kids and adults, it’s a pleasure getting to see families. And that kind of lent itself to observations I made over the years, where just simple family histories, I’m seeing you and then your daughter comes in with migraines, and you said you had IBS or dad had IBS. And you start to see, oh grandma,, she’s got chronic arthritis, it started in her 40s. Well, it wasn’t chronic arthritis. Now we look back at what’s probably Fibromyalgia but but that’s what the doctor told her and you start to see these connections of this hypersensitive central nervous system and how these interact and just found that it was a very frustrating patient population, both for people obviously going through it, their loved ones, and felt that I saw people bouncing back and forth and I spoke to all these different doctors. Before they’re getting help, and I wanted to investigate and kind of self taught myself over the last 20 years about this, plus going to learn from some really smart people who are experts in the field, like Dr. Daniel Claw from University of Michigan, he’s done a lot of research. So just trying to glean and the problem with fibromyalgia type pain is that unfortunately, it’s a complicated problem. Anybody who says I have one simple fix, it’s a complicated problem with a lot of different multi multifaceted approaches, combining the best of lifestyle medicine and medical management. But when you have a complicated problem, usually that goes to a specialist. A specialist only looks at one part of your body, if you’re a spine surgeon, it’s just your spine, if you’re a GI doctor, it’s just your intestines. If you’re a GYN specialist, it’s just your irritable bladder, or interstitial cystitis, but it’s not the other parts. And having a chance to be an expert on the whole person, the whole body and also having an interest in the impact of mental health on this as well in how the kind of the mind body soul connection of all of this impacts and trying to offer real hope. So that’s why I decided a few years ago to think maybe I should write a book, because I started with a two page handout. And then it’s a 20 page handout. And quite honestly, when you’re talking about this, so many people in medicine, I think who are experiencing health problems are used to a simple A equals B problem. And you know, I love it when we can treat a strep throat, classic urinary tract infection, and you get better. You know, you can fix a broken bone, put a stent in for somebody who had a heart attack, those are really satisfying, but these problems with fibromyalgia are much more complicated. But by the time somebody often has seen me, they’ve had this for so many years, I didn’t catch them nine days into potential start of their Fibro, like yesterday, but knowing the family history, like we gotta get this under control before the cows get out of the barn, we got to quick get them back in there. And it’s so satisfying, because when somebody has had struggles for sometimes many decades, to get them better, is actually the one of the most satisfying things that you can do. Nobody is super satisfied that they got the urinary tract infection treated. But they might be satisfied that you know, you weren’t actually having recurrent UTIs, you might have had interstitial cystitis that’s connected to your migraines and is connected to your IBS, it’s connected to poor sleep, that’s connected to some of these other issues. And nobody ever has connected the dots to see how these are all connected. So that’s where I’ve thought, well, I guess that’s a need where I wanted to, just as a regular community clinical clinician, help others.

Katie Wrigley  9:29  

Thank you for that work that you’re doing out there. And I agree there is a big need for that. And there are not that many doctors who one, have the time to have the level of knowledge because like you said, it’s all siloed. So if you have a complex issue, you could have five to 10 specialists that you’re trying to correlate. The chance of losing information and that correlation is really high. Because I don’t know if you know this or not, but as human beings, we’re flawed. So things are gonna happen. And when you start to get into a complex issue, like one of the things I tell people, I even had a conversation earlier, the traditional allopathic model where you have someone seeing you for 15 minutes, who doesn’t know you, that’s not the answer to your chronic condition. That person’s great to go to, for the strep throat for the UTI for the quick fix, but it’s going to expand, because nothing is happening in a silo. And you’re doing a lot of correlation that you just spoke of there. And thank you so much again, for that work. And I was taking a couple notes, as you were talking, there were a few things I wanted to go back to. So one of them is you mentioned, you know, kids are affected by pain. And in my experience, everyone around the person hurting is affected by pain, as well as the person who’s in pain, whether it’s fibromyalgia or something else, it is affecting everybody, because that starts to be the lens that you’re looking at the world through and it does change, you do stop doing things that you enjoyed, and you make your world smaller and smaller and smaller, because it’s safer to do so. And you don’t even realize until it’s so far in your rearview mirror that you don’t even remember what it feels like to do your favorite thing and how much it used to give you. And that has a big impact on pain. And there’s something else that you said in there about the pain was getting turned on. Can you expand on that? Yeah, that was when you were talking about the family that you know with a daughter that was just in the accident, then goodness, she’s going to be okay. You’ve mentioned that her pain got turned on. So what do you mean by that?

Dr. Michael Lenz  11:40  

So here’s a basic concept: when you have an injury, so she got in a car accident, seatbelts and airbags went off, hit by a car going 45 miles an hour and got jostled. But what we would call soft tissue injury, bruising, there’s going to be some pain, right? But nothing’s broken. Nine days later, most people would be who have a, we’ll call it a typical nervous system, neuro typical system would be improving. Yep. But what happens is, what we know from studies is that people who have pain, that think about it like a balloon, you blow up the balloon. That’s that initial impact. Yeah. Now, normally there should be a decompression from that acute injury as we’re having that normal healing. But people who have chronic pain, like the deflation, it’s very, very slow, if at all, so it stays inflated for a longer period of time. So that delay, and sometimes it can have I have a patient of mine I saw today who has some mechanical issue. She’s got spinal stenosis in her back, that’s in her 60s. So when she walks, it hurts in her legs and her hips. And it’s interfering with her. Interestingly, we recognized she felt great when she did the rowing machine. She stopped biking because of some imbalance, insecurities and whatnot. But she’s excited about getting one of these adult big wheels that you would think would be a lot of fun and doing a recumbent type bike. But she had a mechanical thing and she says when that acts up, then my fibro acts up too. So you can also have pain in one area that then highlights the other. There’s very interesting how these pain reflexes work, you can injury chronic pain your left ankle and then your right ankle hurts because there’s these crossover crosstalk within the the spinal cord and nervous system that can then turn on from a one alarm fire to a five alarm fire from one area, the left leg and suddenly all of fibro is acted up or there’s a migraine that’s happening that triggers maybe also the IBS and maybe your pain levels also are triggered. So it’s an inappropriate alarm system. That is saying there is something physically damaged or inflamed when there isn’t or if it is like she did have an injury. And she’s healing. I think she’s gonna hit zero pain, but it’s at a higher level, and it’s more likely to last at a higher level for a longer period of time. The problem is is what studies have shown is that when a classic study, a couple classic studies, if you don’t mind me sharing is they applied pressure to the thumbnail and they had a machine that gradually increased pressure to the thumbnail and they just said okay, tell us when you’re in moderate amount of pain and we’ll stop they also looked at the functional MRI tagged red blood cells that look at blood flow and active parts of the brain. And what they found was that people who had fibromyalgia reported moderate pain at half the amount of thumbnail pressure than a normal person who doesn’t have Fibro. And it turned out the same parts of the brain were activated. So they are feeling real pain. But it’s not because their thumb is being injured. Because we do have a normal bell curve of what it is we are designed. And of course, if there is something injuring you get away from that, right. And that’s why people will know while their spouse might give them a nice back rub, and they’re like, Oh, you’re hurting, and they’re like, I’m hardly even touching, but their body literally perceives that. Another one from irritable bowel syndrome is they’ll put a balloon with a sensor in the colon. They’ll inflate it say when you’re moderately painful. Well, it’s about a little over half that threshold of pressure that somebody with IBS will report pain when somebody else will need twice that pressure to report pain, right? We don’t want to distend and rupture our colon. But the sensors are at a lower threshold. And that’s part of that information is kind of like the microscope. In discovering the cause of malaria. It wasn’t just bad swamp gas, that people were breathing in the swamps that the Romans thought it was just bad swamp air, it was this parasite in a mosquito. And now we have this kind of technology, in the last 25 years, 20 years that shows your pain is real and what you’re experiencing is real. And then there’s a lot of different things that can affect that there’s, we call it kind of a pain amplifier, you can turn, you can plug in a guitar, and you can strum your guitar. That’s like the input, the stimuli and the volume can be turned way up or way down. And there’s things that we call ascending pain pathways that heightened pain. And then there’s descending neurologic pain pathways that help turn it down. And of course, in my book I talk about a patient of mine who had one of his ascending pathways was his dad, oh, and he was running the family business. And whenever his dad walked in the room, his body just tightened up. Because of the stress.

Katie Wrigley  17:25  


Dr. Michael Lenz  17:26  

And many people listening here, they do have just call it a magical How could somebody literally walk in a room and have that? There is nothing that changed in that second, but the body tensed up, he had to quit his job. Because he went from extreme to moderate, we couldn’t break the moderate because of that work dynamic. And sometimes there may be people listening out there who are in a relationship, a situation that is really tough. And you know, when I talk about, you know, the book, Conquering your Fibromyalgia and trying to have a lot of hope and optimism. But we’re also recognizing there are circumstances that are sometimes really difficult and, and this earth while we live this life may never get past a moderate level until some things change. And sometimes we don’t have control over all of those things, but at least there’s an understanding. And there’s another study they did out of Spain, where they just taught people about fibromyalgia and understood this hyper aroused nervous system in the sense and reduced their pain by 25%. Because the unknown of why something has happened and having no control also causes that heightened sense sensitivity and increased pain. I threw a lot at you there but I think those are some things that if I was talking with a patient of mine in my room to try to help them and their spouse understand what their body’s experiencing.

Katie Wrigley  19:22  

Yeah, and you’re actually explaining a lot of what I’ve experienced myself. So I had mentioned this as we were chatting ahead of time. My pain, which I now call myself pain free, I have crunchy days sometimes but I’m fully functional. I’m fully active, despite the fact that I still have apparently severe adrenal fatigue and my practitioners are actually shocked that I’m as high performing as I am but I’m just gonna go with it. It works for me. So my mom used to say that I was born constipated. I was constipated in diapers that we know as IBSC. I also don’t have any symptoms of that right now either. I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia twice. I don’t think I have fibromyalgia. I agreed for a while about 12 years ago, I don’t think I do anymore. I’ve dismissed probably three quarters of the diagnoses I’ve been given. And I’ll dismiss others as I figure out how to deactivate them again. But the core of the pain started when I was 22 years old, and I was in a car accident. We were T boned on my side of the car. The car actually hit my hip and thank goodness it did because if we had just been a little bit more forward, I was in the passenger seat, my friend was driving, she didn’t see a light. I happened to see it, said “red light” too late. We’re at the intersection. I thought for a split, “As long as no cars are coming, we’re fine.” I look to the side and there’s a car “Shit, car!” I turned around. So I am tensed and twisted as this thing hits, it hits my hip. And my seat was about eight inches wide after that, and I was probably about 20, 30 pounds heavier than I am now. My butt is not eight inches wide, it is much bigger than eight inches wide. So that hurt a lot. And much to your point, my back has not been the same since then. And then I went ahead you know and did some other really stellar decisions like getting into skydiving when I have depth perception issues and could never really tell where the ground was. So that really accelerated things. But I had a blast skydiving but everything you’re saying there I’m like, “Oh, I do have a sensitive stomach”. And there are days my partner I will be sitting there and sometimes even if I don’t realize I’m in pain, he’ll start rubbing my arm gently and I can’t stand it. And it’s not because he’s hurting me. It’s not because I don’t welcome his touch. I always welcome his touch. It’s because my nerves just don’t want it that day. And the first couple times it happened, it would kind of hurt his feelings and I wouldn’t be hurt if like I suddenly couldn’t touch him because he’s like “That hurts” and like “I’m but I’m, I’m hardly touching you how could that possibly hurt?” I can’t explain it. I just told him I said it’s just one of those days, where my nerves are hypersensitive. And it’ll be better tomorrow. But today’s just a day, my body doesn’t want to be touched much. And so we’ll hold hands or something else instead, because physical touch is really important to him. But I’m really understanding that sensitivity that you’re talking about on a whole new level from hearing it through your lens, and so grateful that I’ve been able to get rid of so many of these symptoms to be able to heal and to be able to get into the core issues. And that sensitivity thing was something I was in denial of for a really long time. But so much of what you just said really deeply resonated. And I’m curious and all that. What exactly is lifestyle medicine? Like I’ve heard lifestyle changes I’ve heard of holistic medicine, lifestyle medicine is a new term. So what is that, Michael?

Dr. Michael Lenz  23:13  

So once a medicine is dealing with the non medication management, using evidence based approaches to help people with especially chronic health issues and the big parts of that are going to be looking at the role of food, trying to encourage a predominately whole food plant based diet as part of that. Exercise, sleep, stress management, addictions. And using it in an evidence based approach. There’s so many chronic health issues that do have a lifestyle component. And it’s trying to maximize the benefits of that. Whether it’s diabetes, blood pressure, the effect of these on chronic pain type syndromes and issues. And it’s interesting because I do take care of more than just chronic pain issues, I take care of diabetes. And actually, people with chronic pain are more likely to have diabetes, they’re more likely to have addictions, often because they’re more likely to, on average, be overweight or obese, more likely to self medicate their stress with maladaptive nutrition. So bad eating habits, eating because I’m not hungry, eating because I’m stressed, eating because I’m bored. And it’s not the carrots and the salary and the quinoa and the sweet potato, it’s sweet potato chips, or other things that give short term relief that then often gets into these levels of despair. So trying to understand how a lot of these are in that, all of these are interestingly connected. It’s interesting because part of why I wrote the book and do the podcast is, I might have a patient, and we’re just meeting today, who is reluctant to accept the fibromyalgia. And I could do a podcast episode going, you know, attribution nosology, which has to do with names and why we refer to things. And often the word Fibromyalgia, I talk about in my book, is the F word, the naughty word. Don’t tell me that. Because you’re just saying, I’m an old middle aged woman who’s got hysteria, and it’s not real. And it’s all in my head. And it’s just now we got a trash can diagnosis of something that’s not real. And I want to have something real. And I think when people have read my book, they often start to cry. Because they go, “Well, that’s me. I’ve been doing this for decades, and you legitimize, you validated that my experience was real”. Not just say, “Oh, it’s real for you. Okay? No, this is a real thing, we understand how the brain and nervous system works, we might use a different label or name for chronic pain, or chronic fatigue syndrome, or fibromyalgia or calling it adrenal fatigue or somebody calls it chronic Lyme, or whatever. But when you look at all of the symptoms, they’re identical. But sometimes, we may have, and often, I just had a series, I’m finishing in my podcast of chronic Lyme and who were Wisconsin and probably in Maine, a lot of things are out there, and you look and there’s these chronic Lyme providers, and they’ll put through 10s of 1000s dollars of treatments that aren’t evidence based, but one of the things they do, they’ll sit down for an hour and a half. And say, “Adam, I listened to your history. And what you need to do is a special vitamin or protocol, and you’ll get better”. But the listening and the saying that you’re okay, unfortunately, he always said “I always wanted to be a testimonial, and I never got better.” And now he’s gotten the right education and understanding, he said, “I hate to say this because I feel I’m gonna jinx myself”, because you’re battling this, like you don’t poke the bear, because he’s gonna come out and growl at you. So he did say out loud to his wife, he’s like, “Erin, I’m better. I’m better. I’m done with this. It’s better.” And he’s like, chasing normal. He said, trying to chase that normal. So lifestyle medicine is trying to bridge the best of those. And then also recognize, yeah, there’s medical issues, there are medications that can help. The part of the problem with these issues is that the doctors don’t have really good training on this. The patients have not the best expectations, they have, probably coming in, higher expectations. So if they might get on a medicine that is FDA approved, like many people probably listening. “I’ve been on Cymbalta. I’ve been on Pregabalin, or all this and it didn’t help. Well it might help 20%. Did you know it was gonna help 20%? Could you even tell if you got 20% better? Well, we do these Fibromyalgia impact questionnaires that are great for chronic pain issues. I do them at each visit and track most visits. And I say this will help about 20%. So if we can take you from extreme to moderate to severe. And then if we can pace yourself with exercising, eating healthy, and now we can take you another notch and another notch and another notch and take your hand along this way. And recognizing that it’s not going to change overnight. There is no quick fix. But often we have I think those expectations going in, and then the doctor throws up their hands when you’re like I’m not better. But of course, like in a relationship, being a little humorous here like “You never do this!” and like, well, that’s just a woman saying never, it doesn’t really mean never. It’s like “I didn’t get any better. Okay, I maybe got 20% better, but I thought it was gonna be 100% better, just like my urinary tract infection is cured when I take antibiotics.” And  that’s where I try to put the right expectations going into this and understanding, and that it’s real, you know, the subtitle is, this is real concrete in your fibromyalgia. Real answers and real solutions to real pain. The longer title which wouldn’t fit on a book cover was real pain, real fatigue and real brain fog but all of these are like what you have, it’s real, and it’s not made up.

Katie Wrigley  29:49  

Yep. And that that validation is so important because so many people, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same in your practice, by the time they find me, they feel like they’ve been gaslighted. They feel like no one’s heard them or listened to them or they’ve been dismissed or they’re being condemned or judged or, or something, you know, and a lot of them do have some level of addiction going on, even if it’s just social media it’s still doing something to influence their body that’s keeping them locked in pain, and just the, I want to say magic of really hearing someone can do so much. And being able to set those expectations, like what I was journaling out of pain, and I love that you mentioned adrenal fatigue has all these symptoms with it. Because it speaks to a lot of it. The mindset is huge with this, like, I didn’t know I had adrenal fatigue, I don’t really feel like I’m in pain, I still have symptoms. Absolutely. And I’m resolving them. But I’m a very highly functional person, I can tell you, when I got no idea when I started to have adrenal fatigue. I know they were screwed up in 2007. The first time someone looked, here we are in 2022. My guess for my lifestyle choices, which were not that great until about four years ago, probably had it for a long time. So I’m just so used to functioning around it. That mindset piece is huge, and people telling you you can or not giving you an out, that’s been big for me and all of it circles back to someone hearing me or wanting to listen. And that’s what I love to give to other people too. And it’s hard for me to shut my piehole sometimes, because it’s like, oh, that resonates so deeply. But being able to really hear someone and listen is such a gift.

Have you noticed any commonalities as to what else may be underneath the heightened sensitivity: Someone whose nervous system is more sensitive, like the IBS, like the fibromyalgia? Have you seen any commonalities between people who present like that, who can only handle a fraction of what someone else can handle versus those who are less sensitive.

Dr. Michael Lenz  32:07  

So there are multiple things, and no person is the same. Nobody’s circumstances are the same. So everybody listening, let’s say you’re an identical twin married to another identical twin living in the same town doing the same thing. Same kids everything. Nobody has got the identical situation, but we do know their underlying genetic susceptibilities. We know that there are different levels of different neurotransmitters that make us more prone. Those deal with things like dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, that are at different levels, we know that plays a role. So you would have maybe been fed the exact same diet as, do you have a sibling? 

Katie Wrigley  32:50

Yes, I do.

Dr. Michael Lenz  32: 51

And you eat the same food and assuming they didn’t have it. But you did. And obviously, there’s a genetic. So one of the most important for everybody listening. The key take home message is, pick your parents carefully.

Katie Wrigley  33:06  

Oh, no. Whoops! Too late! I love my parents, I tease, I tease.

Dr. Michael Lenz  33:10  

But often, there are these histories like “Oh, yeah, if dad doesn’t eat cheese anymore, because it really binds him up.  If Dad knew that he’s learned along the way. Oh, Dad, if he gets too many chicken wings, or too many lobster up in Maine with too much butter and white bread he gets, he gets plugged up for something.” So we know there’s genetics that plays a role. That’s actually how I found out this. And what’s interesting is that there also has the role of exercise. It’s interesting, nearly every patient of mine who has had a chronic pain syndrome, almost all of them were active when they were younger, whether they were in a club sport or high exercise, or in horses or dancing, or they just played after school for hours as a kid. And then something happens. They might have got cut from the high school volleyball team. They might have gotten into college, and they decided after a year, I’m gonna quit the swim team or they’re just not gifted enough. And they didn’t know that one of their coping strategies was exercise their whole life. And that kind of turned the volume. And it might have been at age 22. I got in a car accident. And I hear this often while I was going to the gym, six days a week plus I was working, walking, hiking, I had this that and suddenly I stopped and nobody said hey, and that’s for this patient I saw yesterday. It’s like okay, you’re, you know, the instinct is stop moving. But we got to get you moving in some way that is possible that’s within help, whether it’s swimming, whether it’s a stationary bike or something with you know, when you had a major hematoma and a fracture, there’s still but we recognize movement and getting going. There are also other coexisting issues that occur. There’s higher rates of restless leg syndrome that has to do with dopamine. There’s higher rates of have ADHD, we’re finding that the last several years high levels of that relative about nearly sometimes, depending on the study between 25 and 75% of people have that if you’re treating that, that can make an impact, because people with ADHD don’t have a problem. Knowing what to do, it’s doing so implementing these healthy lifestyles, so they may be more prone to that. So that’s just a quick overview of what I’ve noticed. And there’s science behind these. And you can’t pick your parents. But what you can recognize, as I like to say, is some dogs, I’m not a dog expert. We never got a dog. Do you have a dog?

Katie Wrigley  35:44  

I do. I do. A German Shepherd I love her.

Dr. Michael Lenz  35:45  

There are dogs that need to be walked nine miles a day to feel best. And then there’s a dog who’s like, I just need maybe a half a block and then just to sit here. And then they’re like, Do we really have to do this? Aren’t I just cute enough, just being fluffy and whatever. Yeah, just pet me, I’ll pet you. I’ll roll over. And that’s fine. People with the chronic pain type syndromes, they are like a dog that needs to be walked. Otherwise, they eat shoes, and I don’t know whatever. They get crabby and irritable and that’s how they express their inner rage. Eating bad stuff. But if you just recognize, oh, I need that. And other people don’t, there’s people who aren’t prone to this, and they could go and drive somewhere. If this is gonna be broadcast around Thanksgiving, they could drive an hour and a half and visit family and sit around all day, this person with Fibro, if you’re prone, go for a half hour, hour walk before you get in the car. You don’t need to watch the Packers lose again, or the Patriots lose. If you’re wherever you’re listening, sitting around in America. It’s who wants to go for a walk after you help them with the dishes and then you go for a walk for an hour outside and you get some fresh air and you’re walking around and recognize, hey, I feel better versus sitting inside. And then you get tight and you get sore. And there’s stressful conversation. Your pains acting up and “how could I hurt, I just sat the whole day. Must be the seat in my car. It’s like, No, you just need to take a walk. 

Katie Wrigley  37:23  

It’s because you sat all day. And yeah, I’ve actually started to notice that shift in people when they start moving. They’re like, Oh, I hurt so bad. Because I sat all day. And the first time I heard that come out of my mouth. I’m like, “Oh… oh!”, like all these times of you know, there was a while where I was pretty close to bedridden. It’s like, Okay if being sedentary makes me hurt more… Oh, okay. That makes sense now. But that is one of the first things we stopped doing. We stop moving.

Dr. Michael Lenz  37:54  

It’s a protective natural response. Right. But that’s sometimes where people can be discouraged when they’ve been in medical providers is to say, “The doctor just told me to lose weight, eat better and exercise more. And when I do that I hurt.” Yeah. And so they might go and try to go on a five mile walk when they’re not even barely doing 500 steps. And then to go “No, no, we’re going to do a 10% increase that we’ll do another 50 steps. We’ll space that throughout the day, just do a little things. Can you get up, walk to the bathroom and back and sit down and do that every 15 minutes?” And do that throughout the day. And that might, over three months, cut your pain by 25-30%. Oh, okay. And then we measure Okay, and I’m doing a little bit more. Yep. And if you understand that, that’s where it’s like saying, “Well, I took the pill and I didn’t get better. I did what you told me but nobody gave an exercise prescription and that’s a big part of lifestyle medicine is having some specific things like I talked to her, like I talked earlier about a patient of mine, who was limited because of her spinal stenosis, but she likes the rowing machine. She said “I felt great on that!”. I said, “I know because your back isn’t hyper extended and putting pressure on those nerves from the spinal stenosis”. And “I think I’d love a big wheel Doctor Lenz”. I remember thinking though, just saying Oh, it’d be neat to have a big wheel like my kids and I’m like they actually make these adult big wheels you can get where you’re sitting and it’d be fun. She’s loves to walk. But after walking a mile she literally has pressure on the nerve pushing down her leg into her back and is not something she would entertain surgery and what I recommend that but now she’s looking with this sparkle in her eye leaving the clinic like Wow, I love exploring my neighborhood. And that’s what I like about getting outside. It’s not as much fun sitting on a recumbent bike at a fitness center, even though we might have to in winter. If it’s comes to that you just have to go, yeah, we’d love to have great weather year round. But I’d love to see the neighborhood and I could go for an hour and a half sitting and biking and it would make me feel better. And that’s that we also are trying to very low dose of duloxetine to see if we can help a little bit with that and recognize it may help a little. She was at a higher dosage. And she had some upset stomach issues. And she kept pushing, which is one of the things about chronic pain people, they often are very resilient, they keep on trying, but I said, you know, next time you have that, just call me I would have cut the dose down. I wouldn’t make you torture. You don’t have to keep trying it four times. “WellI was just going to try it, maybe with something my ate.” No, it’s not something you ate what you have the worst luck in the world or your husband is trying to kill you with toxic food. But it was one of the side effects and we’re going to try a low dose. And I said but there’s other options or maybe helping us a little bit of a low dose Gabapentin to help with these, and giving her specific information to help her, to help have that hope and realize maybe we’ll take you from moderate to mild to moderate. And that’s to see the progress. And plus I’ve been doing something I like. 

Katie Wrigley  41:17  

There’s the mindset. You’re sparking those happy chemicals.

Dr. Michael Lenz  41:21  

Yeah. And recognizing those are things that you need to feel better and being able to do more and recognizing within reason. I had a patient, more than one patient, particularly struggling with these. And he said, “Doc, I did what you told me I gave it all and I just pushed” and he at least got an activity counter. I said, “I never told you to give it your all and just push like crazy and get 10,000 steps.” *Hysterically laughing* “And I walked the dog and I worked in the yard and I did all of this stuff.” And then the other days, he’s getting 500 steps, lays in bed, and doesn’t do much. And I’m not picking on him if he listens, but I’m like you need to pace yourself. Yes, you can’t just do 10,000 one day and 500 the next day. Maybe you start with 3000 and then you gradually go up because that’s going to actually make your pain worse and many people who are knowing how to take that exercise prescription and that you actually are sabotaging your own success if you do that. And to recognize you need that. Now you might catch COVID. A recent patient of mine caught COVID and it activated her fibromyalgia pain because all the cytokine release that occurs when you’re fighting off infection and makes you feel achy and sore occurred. But the off button didn’t get turned off as much even though the inflammation is measurably down. She still has that. It’s not a physical injury in the sense of a car accident. But it is an immune type injury where it’s activated. That’s where a lot of the things we understand with the post Lyme treatments, disease, post Lyme Disease Treatment syndrome or Long Haul COVID. When we’re looking at all of these are the same problem. We’re just giving different names to them. And that’s why sometimes we get caught up in names in the medical community in traditional medical community. We’ll call it Fibromayalgia, we’ll call it chronic fatigue syndrome. It may be an alternative medicine, they’ll call it adrenal fatigue, or they might call something else. Chronic Lyme. But part of how we look in a perspective is sometimes it’s like, well, that doctor at least listened to me and gave me some of these answers into traditional doctor through Lyrica, Duloxetine, because that’s what we do prescribe pills, never talked about diet. There are other things too speaking of diet, is that eating a whole food plants diet is in a couple of studies showed reducing symptoms in half. And, and sticking with it. Now. If a little bit like exercise, if you have a really sensitive gut in the beginning, and you’re eating a really bad American or Western diet with very low in fiber, if you eat 60 grams of fiber, going from six grams. It’s like going from 500 to 10,000 steps. You’re gonna hurt more and you’re so so but if you’re exercising every day and 10,000 steps you’ve built up you feel great. Yeah. And if every day you’re eating 50 to 60 grams of fiber because your diets all whole plant foods, not processed with fiber. Well you feel great. And then if you slip in a cheeseburger on accident, your gut hurts and then you’re like, Well, my gut hurt. It’s funny when I find out when people who are listening may be struggling and they’re like I can’t figure out what’s causing what foods causing this. It’s because everything they’re eating is causing it. There isn’t one thing it’s like everything you’re eating is processed, fiber free food that you can can’t pin it down until somebody adopts a whole foods plant based or mostly plant based diet and then they go to a tailgate party or eat something that’s socially in the situation where it’s off and they go, Oh my gosh, did I just my guts bloated? I feel like, I don’t know what, and then they go, Oh, I haven’t eaten a cheeseburger in four months. Yeah. And their gut hurts. And then you look back, if you’ve had the IBS constipation, you’re like, I kind of just felt like that a lot. I just always was bloated. And then you start eating better. And then you’re like, oh, I don’t eat cheeseburgers anymore. I just limit that. I can’t eat all of these foods or otherwise, my gut hurts, but it’s hard. You know, I talk about food a lot with my patients, too. And it’s a sensitive topic, because people expect their doctor to tell them to quit smoking, but they don’t tell them to say that part of your problem is your food choices.

Katie Wrigley  45:59  

Yup! It is too and you know, one of my business coaches, actually, she equates food to fuel. Like, you can’t expect to get to the moon unless you have rocket fuel. Like Doritos, not rocket fuel. Kale may not taste as good as Doritos, but we’re getting closer to rocket fuel. Yeah, you can’t expect to put crap in your body and feel amazing. Like we’re not meant to digest these things. I’m laughing as you were saying that. Because in my 20s, and stuff, that was exactly what I did, exactly what you described as I would be eating nothing but junk. And then I would feel so bad. I’m like, I’m going to go on a diet. And I would dive into the fiber pool. And oh, man with it. I would be miserable for days. I remember my mom at one point being like, why do you do this? It’s because I would make too much of a change. And it wasn’t sustainable. But that was exactly it. It’s like, oh, I just get so tired of it. Do you remember that movie Supersize Me that came out a while ago?

Dr. Michael Lenz  47:04  

A while ago… That means we’re really old. Cuz it was a long while ago, wasn’t even in HD back then.

Katie Wrigley  47:09  

Oh man, it was probably like in the 90s, early 2000s.

Dr. Michael Lenz  47:12  

Early 2000s. Yeah, I looked at it. My kids did that for health class, I was watching it again. And I it’s just…

Katie Wrigley  47:20  

I love the premise of it. But you just actually hit what bothered me about it. He was a hardcore vegan before he did his month of McDonald’s, if you remember from that he was eating super healthy. And he immediately went to McDonald’s and his body just *bleh* freaked out. And I believe there’s a lot of truth to what he was saying. But he was feeling the impact, just like you said, the person who is eating all plant based suddenly has a cheeseburger, you’re gonna feel that so much more. Because when you’ve been doing that all the time, you tend to start to get numb to it, you don’t realize it, it’s not as impactful and doesn’t feel as intense, at least in my experience, correct me if you’ve experienced different.

Dr. Michael Lenz  48:02  

Well, for many people who are listening, or struggling, they think it’s normal to hurt, be bloated, have chronic neck tension, and all of this and they’ve just accepted because certain degree, if you just have to go well, I’ve been to 50 doctors in the last 25 years, and I guess they kind of mumble a few things, put their head down. And I don’t know and hope you go to another doctor and see another specialist and order another thyroid test. And have you go out the door and see the next patient. But it’s incredible when they do recognize that while your immune system or I should say your diet can affect your immune system, it can affect your gut. So what how does your food and how does a plant based diet help your pain? So there’s a couple basic ways. Yeah. So one is when you eat fiber, there’s bacteria in your colon that digests it. There’s some byproducts that occur when that’s digested. One of them are short chain fatty acids, like propionic acid and butyric acid. So remember, we talked about the colon and we put a balloon and we put pressure in there. Now if you give… it’s a medical thing, so I don’t know if this may sound gross, but if you give somebody an enema of propionic acid, a substance when you have it, but you concentrate that, give that in there, and then you let that absorb. And then you put in the balloon and they now can tolerate a much higher capacity. Wow. And when you eat regular plant food all of the time you generate that because now you have more bacteria, the healthy bacteria that digested and then you have more food to feel them that they thrive on to make more of this the short chain fatty acids that make your gut literally feel better. It’s kind of like getting lidocaine to your gut. There also is a release of these precursors or building blocks to amino acid or neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So it literally feels better in your gut, it helps your peristalsis, the movement of food through your system is better. So if I had seen patients like you, who were constipated as a child, I’ll say, All right, we gotta get rid of the Western diet. We’re gonna go all plant based. And then you’ll go, oh, I go one to two a day. Now, they’re formed. But nobody ever told you that the cheese and the chicken and the lobster and the butter and the white bread and the processed stuff was causing it. And even if they did, they would have had to have listened to this podcast to research that. It’s funny, you know, we’re at with food where we were with cigarettes 50-60 years ago. Everybody knows. Very few people argue like, “Come on Dr. Lenz, diet doesn’t have that big of a factor.” As if I know cigarettes 50 or 60 years ago, people might have been, “Well, it’s probably not that bad, but come on, everything in moderation. Right?” Okay, I guess it’s really bad. And, and then to have, wow, I have more energy when I eat better. And when I eat better, I have more energy, which means I exercise more. When I exercise more, I’m less stressed. And when I’m less stressed, I make better food choices. So when you just look at the combination, you could cut your symptoms by half or more. And then maybe you need to supplement that if you find out well, I do struggle with ADHD. I have a hard time following through and I kicked myself because I know I should do this. And I keep falling through. Maybe I have that. Maybe I’ve always had that I’m really smart. I’m in the 93rd percentile of IQ, like a lot of people with ADHD. But I also struggle with following through on things and I feel fatigued and stressed and then I worry a lot. And often when you say that before, what are some of the things often there’s this catastrophizing that occurs in the mindset, because then you can’t get out of that negative loop because you perseverate on negative things. And it’s part of how your brain is kind of wired. And then you start to get into these bad habits, right, you stop moving, stop exercising, eat comfort food, which helps you in the short term, but doesn’t have the long term. So I hopefully then can share how all of these are connected. And then you go, Wow, that’s incredible. And that’s part of where I was seeing years ago with my patients when it’s incredible but how all of these are interconnected. And then I share this with people and it was a two page and a 20 page handout like I shared earlier, right? I don’t know, I think a lot of people are like, “I don’t know if I’d buy it. I don’t know if I’m ready to accept that”. So I’m like, part of the reason I wrote the book was to be able to convince my own patients with the science behind this explain in an evidence based approach how all of these are connected, so that their spouse buys it “Come on, there’s nothing wrong with eating some cheeseburgers and french fries and crap, come on. That’s nothing wrong with that”. And then they’re like, “well, it is for me, you can get away with it and you don’t have any problems but my body is more sensitive to that.” And you start to recognize, it’s like in the movie The Matrix where they can slow things down and you can dodge bullets and you can recognize all of those. A lot of times looking back, you know, talking movies like The Sixth Sense, there’s all these clues there. So when I share this, if you were constipated, you probably went to the school nurse more and said my stomach tummy doesn’t hurt. And sometimes you probably got the look like you just didn’t turn your homework in. Like they think you’re faking it to some degree. And then other things along the way, when you look at timewise well, you likely had more painful periods than maybe your friends or many people.

Katie Wrigley  54:11  

Horrible. I had a hysterectomy at 40 because I had such severe endometriosis and it was all over.

Dr. Michael Lenz  54:16  

So do you know what’s even, you’re probably going to… your jaw will probably drop, do you know the first symptom of chronic pain syndrome in somebody’s lifetime? It’s colic.

Katie Wrigley  54:33  

I was a colicky baby. Yep.

Dr. Michael Lenz  54:35  

So when I have now seen newborns with families who have colic, 90% of babies who have colic, one of the parents has restless leg syndrome, which is connected with this chronic pain. Or they have some kind of chronic pain issue like dad had IBS constipation or migraines or an aunt or an uncle or grandma, grandpa, and all of these are in there. So we start talking. So already, and this may be… I’m a pretty normal person, but I start to see these connections. And I say, Well, we’re just trying to get them growing. But this might be a child who doesn’t do well at sleepovers, doesn’t do well with eating a bad diet and has to have consistent schedules from the get go.

Katie Wrigley  55:30

Yep, that was me!

Dr. Michael Lenz  55:31

And if you know that from the beginning, it’s better. And then if they’re more sensitive with getting pain with their periods, and then leads me off, you go, Well, I had these really bad sinus headaches, which were really migraines, and then the IBS and then I got in a car accident. And now what seemed to occur out of the blue, if you would have been told all of these were connected, which we didn’t have that information back then. But to see how these are all connected. Oh, and as somebody says, If you have any kids, nobody says, Well, I’m gonna wait until they’re 50 years old, or 40 years old before the secret’s out that they have this. I’ll let them suffer just like me because it builds character. You would have like, I wish I would have had you as my pediatrician back then. And put some things on track to help me with this. And recognize that all of these are connected. 

Katie Wrigley  56:27  

Oh, yeah, this is I could talk to you probably all evening. But I think we’ve been Yeah, we’ve been going for a minute here. It’s fascinating. Like, so many times you’re talking like, you know, you guys can’t see me on video, but I’m raising my hand is he’s saying things like, yeah, that was me. That was me. So much of this, and I much to your point, I was a colicky baby, I had chronic pain. I’ve been told I had fibromyalgia. Now it’s called adrenal fatigue, I still don’t identify with the pain part of it. I was actually shocked. Like I said, to find out that I had it. I just get tired sometimes. It’s really the only symptom that I have. But so much of what you just said I’ve experienced directly. And ironically, one of the things that I found and I had a high level of resistance because I wanted to be a normal person. I wanted to have a burger. I wanted to eat like a regular person. My body doesn’t tolerate most of the normal mainstream stuff. Cymbalta actually gave me fibromyalgia and the sleeping disorder. I was like the 3% that had wound up with more pain from taking that. Yeah, and a sleeping disorder, which I still haven’t completely undone 12 years later. It was a teeny tiny, I think it may have been 1% of people who took it, the doctor who prescribed it, it was unethical. I’m not going to mention who they were, different state, different time. Great learning experience. I don’t do well, on a lot of pharmacological drugs, they don’t mesh well with my body. I was allergic. And I tried on a lot of them over the course of the years because that’s what my doctor was telling me to take. I also have hemochromatosis. Meat is one of the worst things you can ever give me. So is shellfish. I can’t it’s too much iron, shrimp, lobster crab, like all the stuff that people like out here. Not good for me. Beef, not good for me, I’m gonna have to go give blood if I do that. But you put me in plants, and you give me plant based medicine. And my body goes, Ah, I love being in nature. Like I guess I’m a hippie at heart. And I tried to cram myself in cities for a long time before I finally got out of them. And now I’m feeling a lot better, but just want to point out the uniqueness in there. I’m a highly sensitive person. And so there’s a lot of things I would love to be able to do or eat. But I don’t want to pay the price anymore.

Dr. Michael Lenz  59:02  

One of the important things just, we get into terms and names and fibromyalgia is more commonly accepted. What you’ve said more than once is well it’s not really much pain. But actually, for many people, the three core parts of fibromyalgia are pain, brain fog, and fatigue. Yep. And it’s common that for many, the fatigue is the worst of the three. 

Katie Wrigley  59:38

That’s the hardest for sure. 

Dr. Michael Lenz  59:40

Or brain fog, concentration, focus, distraction, staying on task, frustration, and there’s some pain. But those are often part of that and I posted a question on how many people who… and I  have a fibromyalgia Facebook group about their brain fog and how many of them struggle with that and the He said all That’s the worst part of it for me. And so these are all different components. These are syndromes trying to understand how these fit together. But I think if anybody wants to learn, or hear more, like I’d say, I’m trying to have a podcast to help with fibromyalgia and related issues, there’s so much to cover, you know, I haven’t done IBS yet. Haven’t done one on colic. But I talked about that in the book, and I will eventually, you know, trying to get more, there’s so much information. And if there’s patients of mine listening, they may have heard a lot of this in different visits. But there’s so much to cover. And I hope that at least everybody who’s listening, can recognize well, maybe, maybe I need to read this. Maybe I need to listen, maybe my family needs to. Yeah, when you mentioned with perception within families and doctors is there’s a series that just did with migraines, and chronic and migraine issues, and that sometimes the family starts wondering, maybe she’s making it up. And then the mom and dad might be ones more comforting and other ones trying to be like, come on, suck it up, buttercup. Yeah, go to school can’t be that bad. Yeah, so you got, you know, maybe you to some degree, and you’re like, Well, I’m not trying to have painful periods. And you look back and you’re, and often when one of the first podcasts I was on called Fibro friends, the hosts and these were young ladies in their 20s. And I described your story up till age 26. Except there was no car accident. And they’re like, her jaw dropped because she’s like you’re describing my life. And you don’t you just met me. And I just, I had listened to some of the episodes on that. And she had a lot of these coexisting issues. Yeah, but didn’t even know that had anything to do with these other symptoms later. Yeah. And that’s where you can see that, and the problem is, unfortunately, if you have a child who has this, your pediatrician doesn’t have much training in this. I heard a pediatrician on a podcast, they can learn more about this, but they don’t have the training. So much on IBS. So you might understand colic, and you know, what’s funny about colic just as a quick aside, for years, when there’ll be like expectant parents, you know, pregnancy kind of thing, their first pregnancy and we talked about colic, and I said, Well, nobody wants their kid to have colic. And if you ever have somebody say do you have a good baby or bad baby? They don’t say bad baby, but you are a bad baby what they mean is a colicky baby. 

Katie Wrigley  1:03:00


Dr. Michael Lenz  1:03:01

I don’t know if I’m gonna have another one after this. I don’t know, are you the last one in your family? Did you have any siblings after?

Katie Wrigley  1:03:09  

I am actually, but they had planned me to be the last one before conception because my sister was such a holy terror as a toddler. She’s a wonderful person. But as a toddler, apparently she was hell on tiny little legs. So my mom said, told my dad Don’t even think about having another one. That one is two years old. You know, the fertility rate in my family. I was born nine months and 11 days later, after my sister’s second birthday.

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:03:41  

Okay. Well, when you look at the colic, I used to say, you know, this is a time where babies feel extra sensitive. And I would say it’s almost like in the Plateau stage of a migraine. Where it’s hard to get comfortable, it’s gotta be the right temperature and the fan’s blowing the white noise. And then even then they’re not happy. And I just observed that I used to say that what you even said I’ve always been sensitive. Yeah. And then to recognize that and to bridge and get that understanding out there is oh, so my brain, even from the earliest age was more susceptible. Now, what’s interesting, colic gets better once they can really start crawling, and you know what, I bet people listening out there, if they’re struggling, they had colic. By the way, another funny thing is they did a study in eight to 12 year olds, and they were in the emergency room for headaches, migraines, and they asked the parents by the way, did they have colic? And of course the comedian would be well, eight to 12 years later, I’m sure you couldn’t remember that far mom or I mean, it’s like so long who you would never know if I had? Well, they were as much higher rates of colic if they had migraines between eight and 12. Oh wow. And there was this connection they couldn’t remember. Obviously, nobody would forget that. Mom was a colicky I don’t know, I can’t remember. No, they remember. Oh, yes, they do. But at that early age, already that hypersensitive, more sensitive nervous system. And they did exactly the same. They breastfed you, they fed you the same things and your body was wired differently.

Katie Wrigley  1:05:25  

Yeah. I was born intolerant to milk, which most babies are not. And the pediatrician found it. And then finally, we didn’t know I had hemochromatosis until my 30s, But I had iron overload as a kid, because I was eating. So I would eat, I’d have a glass of milk with lunch every day, make me so sick. I couldn’t eat dinner that night. And my mom used to say I was always a great baby. She never called it colic because I would scream for hours on end after they fed me because I wasn’t digesting the milk, casein and whey, I’m allergic to.. or not allergic, I’m intolerant to both of them. And so I would be miserable for two to four hours as my tiny little body is digesting this and scream bloody murder. So as I got older, we didn’t know it was milk, I think the first pediatrician said, Oh, just keep giving it to her, she’ll get over it. No, I still don’t do well with milk. And I’m 48. But I’d have a glass of milk and I would be so sick, I couldn’t eat dinner that night, I would wake up starving, I would have two portions of cream a wheat in the morning. I don’t know last time you looked at a cream of wheat label. But it’s got 45% of the iron that an adult needs in one package. And here I am three, four years old, plowing down two of those in the morning. And the next thing I know my iron’s like in the 1000s. We didn’t know about hemochromatosis yet. And I now understand other things that were happening in my life that activated those genes, because I’ve done a root cause analysis. So a lot of what you’re talking about, I’m like, Oh, it is all one system. Wow, how shocking, on one body, of course, they’re all connected. Sure, but it’s so liberating to be at this level now where I’m so close to all of these being corrected within my physical body. You know, we talked a lot on this episode around neurology and the power of the brain and it is real. And also, the experience of pain I like to say is in the brain, because to me, that’s not saying it’s not real, I want to be clear on that even have an episode that you know, pain, it’s all in your head. And it is real. And the reason I say that is because you have the power to change it. Because of neuroplasticity, you can change it. Even if there’s something else that requires a medication or requires a supplement and requires a lifestyle change, your brain is going to help you find that help you shift to what you need. It’s not just sitting and going “Oh I don’t hurt anymore”. It’s not just mindset, there’s lifestyle, there’s so many more elements to it. And to me, that’s empowering to say this is in my head, because that makes me feel like I can keep doing more. And I continue to look for that and continue to prove myself correct that yes, there is more I can do to continue to give myself more and more relief. And as such, life just keeps getting better and better. It’s kinda cool!

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:08:27  

I think what when you hear, you know, the all in your head has a double meaning because most people have received the message being “You’re imagining things.” 

Katie Wrigley  1:08:40  

Yeah, and that’s not true. I’m not gaslighting you. Your pain is real 100%.

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:08:45  

Yet, we know right? That it’s real and how your brain is you hopefully maybe learn today like with those different tests that they’re doing with technology to say, Oh, you’re experiencing pain at a lower threshold, we know that. They’ve done that, by the way, they’ve done studies like that with light, put you in a completely dark room and gradually increase the lumen or light intensity until it’s moderately uncomfortable and tell us people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain types, issues that we’re talking about. They report pain, a lower threshold, turn on quiet room, increase the noise, gradually, the decibels, and I can tell I walk into my room, I have a room with windows on the outside with shades. And I can walk in and I will have bright lights because I got to see, do skin exams and close examination so it’s light. But if they have the head down sunglasses, and they look uncomfortable, I’ll just turn off the lights so you can have the natural light sneaking through the shades. And they just feel relaxed. Yep. And they recognized. Oh, yeah, I suppose you don’t like going to big parties. Do you? In concerts? No. Too loud, too much noise. I don’t like going and unfortunately. Then you get me even worse because you need social connection. But how do you connect in all of these different things in the right setting of how you connect?

Katie Wrigley  1:10:07  

Yeah, it jars my nervous system to go to big events, but I get so much enjoyment out of live music. That’s pretty much the only big event I’ll go to, but much to your point sensitive to noise, sensitive to bright lights too. I’m a sensitive person, and I’m okay with that.

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:10:25  

And you probably go there now, eating a healthy diet, you probably walk to get exercise you probably like when you can move around and have some fun with it. And it’s the music style you like, and it’s fun and with your people that you like, and it’s tolerating, if you can’t stand football, and you’re going to whatever.

 Katie Wrigley  1:10:40

You won’t catch me at a football game!

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:10:25  

It’s noisy, it’s unnecessary. Why would I want to do this?

Katie Wrigley  1:10:48  

Yea I don’t get enough enjoyment out of football to go to a football game. I used to force myself through it. Now I get enjoyment out of hockey, I will go to a hockey game. 

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:10:57  

It’s fun and it’s exciting, whatever you like to do. And you’ll find that and if you were active going into that. But there’s so much more to cover. It’s just nice sharing this, it’s nice to see that you’re interested in what we talked about today, and makes me want to continue to do more podcast episodes. And if you ever want to have me on again, I’d be happy if there’s some things I’m sure when you’re going through your show notes and, and listening again. I bet you there will be other questions. You’re like, Oh, I got a follow up on that. Or what about this? If anybody is wants to email me any questions, they have or topic ideas that I do for my podcast, you can email me at DoctorMichaelLenz@gmail.com. It’s on my podcast link in the show, notes, if anybody ever wants to have questions or topics or ideas.

Katie Wrigley  1:11:51  

I’ll make sure that’s in there. So your email address. So can you spell it out for people and will make sure this is in the show notes.

Dr. Michael Lenz  1:11:57  

Just DoctorMichaelLenz@gmail.com. And the book Conquering Your Fibromyalgia: Real answers in Real Solutions for Real Pain. And you can find that online. I have a website called Conquering your Fibromyalgia.  I have a full time doctor and have to try to balance between everything. I could do more on the website. I have some blogs on there. One of the blogs that got a lot of hits was The Nothing Disease. There’s nothing wrong, there’s labs are normal. You’re just and you feel like nothing after you’ve been told there’s nothing. You feel like there’s something that’s Gosh, darn, there must be something real big. And so if there’s some episodes I’ve done on there, but I’d love to get any feedback or questions just trying to do my best. And you know, as you do a podcast and I do a podcast, write a book. Afterwards, somebody on Amazon said, I don’t know, I made a couple of typos and spelt some things wrong. And I’m like, Hey, I’m trying to do my best. It’s not perfect. And you look back and you go, Okay, I could have done better. And I don’t know everything about all of this. But I like to ask questions and help people and hopefully people around the world who get a chance to listen to this podcast have gained some wisdom and greater understanding and hope.

Katie Wrigley  1:13:23  

Yes, I think we can actually trust that people have gotten a lot out of this. I know I definitely did. And I really hope that everybody listening has gotten as much or more than I did. And thank you so much, Michael, for joining me today. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Thank you for all this. I really appreciate it. And thank you, as always my loyal listener for joining me again today. I hope that this episode has given you some options and where and how you can seek some help with fibromyalgia or other body pain. Join me again next week. We are going to be going back to solo episodes again. Starting off we’re going to talk about judgment. I know, super sexy, but it really affects you in ways you can’t possibly imagine. Like judgment actually points to where you are judging yourself. True story. All that’s coming up next week.

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